Teaming up with director Brad Bird, Patton Oswalt’s newest project has him lending his flippantly abrasive voice for Pixar’s "Ratatouille," opening June 29. Rotten Tomatoes recently spoke with Oswalt about the his role in the film, voicing animation, and the complex craft of telling a joke.
"I do movies, and I write movies, and I act in TV shows so I can do more stand up," Oswalt says, though people who know him strictly from network TV are probably surprised by his vulgar and expletive-laced (but genuinely funny) stand up routine. Primarily known as Spence on "The King of Queens" (he shows up in half the episodes), Oswalt has been amassing a Hollywood presence, with frequent small roles and a sizable portfolio of animated roles.
"Ratatouille" takes place among a clan of rats in France eking a living of eating garbage and avoiding humans. Oswalt voices the lead, a wannabe chef rat named Remy who has a nose for both food and trouble. Remy’s frequent seduction by the sights and smells of gourmet edibles eventually lands him in a fancy restaurant, cooking and cooperating with a garbage boy incognito.
Rotten Tomatoes: What attracted you to "Ratatouille" and the role of Remy?
Patton Oswalt: You know what, nothing attracted me to this role at all. When I got word that Brad Bird wanted me, I would’ve done anything. I thought I was going up to read for one of the chefs or one of the little rats. Then I find out I’m the lead. And I got that part because we were talking about what "Ratatouille" was about and I’m a big foodie. I follow celebrity chefs and [Bird] saw that enthusiasm and he said, "That’s the rat." He also played my CD for the Disney people.
RT: How much of the movie have you seen?
PO: Man, almost none of it. Just a few scenes. I’ll probably see it complete when it premieres.
RT: So I’ve probably seen more of it than you have.
PO: Oh, shut up.
Read the rest of the interview here!